The premise of Reigntime is an incredibly interesting one, which is a large part of the reason I accepted this review copy. But while reading the book, I found it too slow for my liking.
Many people liken writing to an iceberg: while you only see about 10% of the iceberg above the water, you know there’s another 90% beneath the surface, holding everything up. That’s also the supposed ratio for what transpires on the page to the amount of research that goes into creating a novel.
The Iceberg Theory isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it does help negotiate the difference between what the reader really needs to know and cool additional information that could be introduced sparingly. As interesting as some of the world-building behind Reigntime is, I didn’t need to know it all at once; this is only the first book in a series so there’s plenty of time to explore details in the future.
With the amount of exposition on nearly every page, even the most action-packed sequences in Reigntime felt like they were taking place in slow-motion.
The Iceberg Theory doesn’t just cover world-building and research; many of the social niceties could be skipped over in Reigntime’s dialogue. While it’s realistic to say, ‘Hi, how are you?’ every time you meet someone, or to repeat new information to ensure you’ve heard everything correctly, it’s not really something that the reader of a novel needs to experience. We can assume those things have already happened with the characters between scenes and lines of description.
Despite the overload of exposition, there was something about Reigntime that kept me coming back for more. I had strong suspicions about where the plot was heading and wanted to know if I would be proven right. I wanted to see how the characters dealt with their obstacles, and I wanted more of the rude but engaging characters (mostly Belinda and the Huntsman).
On an editing note, there were a few technical errors that jarred me, including the use of plural apostrophes, and some archaic words or strange jargon thrown into the narrative. It struck me as extremely unusual, for example, for a 17-year-old to think of someone stopping in the middle of a sentence as an ‘aposiopesis’.
With some tighter editing and equal focus on characters and world-building, I think I could probably have enjoyed this novel as much as Paula Weston’s The Rephaim (another Australian fantasy/paranormal series). As it stands, Reigntime might be better suited for a younger audience, probably readers aged 13 to 17 years.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.